First let me say that I am an American and very proud to be from America, as I believe it is the land of the free and it’s the one country you can accomplish anything if you want to. If you are not successful in life in the USA then you didn’t try hard enough. I came from a small logging town of 1200 people and have been very successful in life and retired at a very young age with no help from anyone but my own determination.
However, since I have spent so much time over the past two years traveling both in the United States and abroad. I have to say of all the people I meet and see, Americans seem to be the rudest people I have ever met.
I realize that this is stereotyping American’s and I don’t mean to do that, as there are some great people in America and some will go way out of their way to help you if you are in need. However, as a whole, they appear to be higher number of rude people per capita than anywhere else I have been. Below, I want to point out some things that help me come to this conclusion. Hopefully pointing some of these things out will have you thinking about how you do things during the day and possibly change some people’s attitude towards others.
There are many ways when it comes to jobs that I can point out that show my point. However there are 2 in particular that I want to bring up.
1) Customer service jobs. These people must have the toughest job in the world. I wonder sometimes if they ever get a call during a day that they are not yelled at or called names because of something that there company is doing. Customer service jobs can be some of the lowest level jobs in a company and most likely they have very little decision making in the direction a company takes. So why yell at them, as they have no control over how things are done in the company. They get blamed when people call them like it’s there faults something doesn’t work or you got over billed. I find talking nicely with this group of people gets you a lot further with your issue than yelling.
2) Hotel workers. I have met many American’s that when I point out there are cleaning jobs at a local hotel, there first comment is “ I am not cleaning someone else’s toilets” The funny part of all this is this most of the time is coming from someone that doesn’t have a job and is complaining that there are no jobs out there for people. I always believed you do whatever it takes to survive but American’s think it’s just easier to stay on unemployment because it pays better. I sure am glad of immigrants, as they seem to be the only ones willing to do the jobs many Americans feel are below them.
Now let’s take the country of Aruba. One of the major industries on this small Caribbean island is tourism. Of all the tourist visiting this county, about 75% of them are American’s. When the American’s are there they just seem to think it’s the United States and complain when they are not treated as kings. When they have to pay for drink refills or the drivers on the street don’t drive like in the United States , it’s the fault of Aruba. Americans have to realize that every country does things different and nothing says that the United States way is the only way things should be done.
Let’s also talk about Aruba and the two missing girls. There you have a 19 mile country that has had two deaths in a 5 year period. I wonder if there is anywhere in the United States that has a 19 mile area with only 2 deaths in 5 years. I am sure there is but not many. They also are probably small communities and not the 100,000 that Aruba has before any tourist show up. You may not like how the police acted but it’s how they do things in Aruba and that doesn’t mean it was the wrong way. You expected them to act as if they have all the same tools they do in the United States, but they don’t, and they also are not a country that owes money to China and then complain that China is taking over. With the latest missing lady, I don’t see a lot of Aruban’s killing other Aruban’s but there sure is a lot of American on American murders. Only in America can you be shot on the Highway because you cut someone off and they didn’t like it.
Road rage is almost a separate topic on itself. However, in all the countries I have driven in, America seems to be the only one that you can drive down the road and get the finger from someone. Either you are driving too slow in the fast lane , even if you are driving at the speed limit and not speeding or breaking the law. It’s also one of the few places I have driven that most people don’t have the habit of letting others into traffic because it might slow them down 5 seconds from getting to where there going. A lot of this is because Americans are always in a hurry to get somewhere due to their fast paste life. However, if there are so many American’s unemployed in the United States I am not sure what there is such a hurry to get to because it’s obviously not to a job.
This issue exists in almost every store on every corner. I want to talk about the rude people in stores. It seems the person in front of you is never getting through the line fast enough for the person behind them. If someone uses coupons or writes a check, all of a sudden it’s the end of the world. You may just have spent two hours in the store shopping but as soon as you get up to the line to check out you are in a hurry. If you want stores to open up more lines for people, then you should just tell the manager you’re willing to pay more for the products you are buying so that you can pay for more employees to have on the line. You see this more at the discount stores because they do make less profit and have less employees.
Those of you that say companies make enough profit and it’s not fair. Well then just tell your realtor you’re willing to sell your house for less, because making a profit on your investment is not important to you and you want to make sure the next person buying your house gets a good deal. As a previous owner of a couple companies, I am here to tell you if you want to make the money then take the investment to start the company. Work 7 days a week, 15 to 16 hours a day and on vacations still have a cell phone tied to your hip. If you’re not willing to do this, then don’t expect the profits that come to those that make this sacrifice.
In closing: I think the main reason Americans are inconsiderate of others, is that most of them are in such a hurry in everything they do. We need to learn to slow down and enjoy life and enjoy the things around you. One thing to always think is “Treat Others Like You Want to Be Treated”. I will admit that I use to be one of these rude people, but over the last couple years I have realized how I was treating people and the effects it has on them. I may at times still get out of line but I am at least thinking about it and trying to be more considerate. Americans are not going to change overnight but if we each try and change it could be a better place.
The first thing I would like to point out is that driving a motorhome is nothing like driving your car or even a large truck. My wife and I took a one day driving course when we first purchased our motorhome and even though they try and teach you as much as possible, there is still a lot to learn that you won’t fully understand until you get behind the wheel of something this large and drive it for yourself.
The first thing you will need to do is determine if the state you are a residence in and hold a valid driver’s license will require you to get a separate driver’s license for operating a large motorhome. As an example, the State of Texas requires all large motorhome owners who register their vehicle in the state to have more than just a normal driver’s license used for driving a car.
The following states require a special license for driving and registering a Motorhome.
California > 26,000lbs Connecticut > 10,000lbs
Hawaii > 26,000lbs Illinois > 16,000lbs
Kansas > 26,000lbs Maryland > 26,000lbs
North Carolina > 26,000lbs New Mexico > 26,000lbs
Nevada > 10,000lbs New York > 26,000lbs
Pennsylvania > 26,000lbs South Carolina > 26,000lbs
Texas > 26,000lbs Washington DC > 26,000lbs
Wyoming > 26,000lbs
Another key to remember is that you are now driving something that weighs on average 25,000 pounds. This is a big difference than driving a normal car that weighs on average 5,000 pounds. This difference in weight means that you must realize your reaction times must be faster and you must start breaking long before you need to stop and make sure you have a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you when going down the road.
One of the Key driving techniques you will learn to use is called Turning at your hip. This is where you make sure your hip clears any obstructions in the road such as a curb and then start your turn. If you start your turn any earlier, you will most likely run over the curb. This is important for both right hand and left hand turns. Also you must remember that unlike your car. The back end of your motorhome will actually swing in an outward motion so if people are in the lane right next to you , you must be careful not to collide with them with your back end.
Next you should learn how to drive using your cameras. This include both the mirror cameras that look down the sides of your motorhome and the rear view camera that will allow you to watch and see what is coming up from behind while you are driving. The mirror cameras usually only kick in when you turn you turn signals on. This allows you to see if someone has come up beside you before you turn into them. Remember now that you are driving something much bigger than your car, your blind site is much larger also and the cameras help minimize your blind areas but most do not remove them in there entirety.
A key point in helping you drive down the road much easier and safely is to make sure your motorhome is balanced throughout the rig. This means to make sure you pack the motorhome both inside and outside evenly so it rides down the road straight. One way to determine if you have done this properly is to load it as if you are ready to hit the road and then go to a truck stop and have it weighed. Make sure to have weighed each set of tires separately and to make sure to weigh the right and left side separately also. This will show you to determine if you have distributed the weight evenly.
One thing you will read in many articles on driving a motorhome is that you can’t back up when towing a vehicle. This is actually false, it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you should not or at least be very cautious when doing so. The reason for this is the tow bars you are towing with have a tendency to jackknife very easily and can damage either your tow vehicle or your motorhome itself. My wife and I find that if we do have to back up, she will get in the tow vehicle and turn the wheel as I turn to make sure it doesn’t jackknife and damage anything. The rear view camera allows me to do this slowly and monitor the progress as we go.
When driving a motorhome, please make sure not to drive once you get tired. My wife and I find that after about 6 hours of driving, our reaction times are diminished and we no long feel we are safe to be on the road. There are many places you can pull over in a motorhome to take a nap and relax as to not injure yourself or others. Rest stops and truck stops are convenient places along the roads that you can pull over and get a few hours of sleep. Keep in mind when you are driving a motorhome, you actually have your bed with you at all times.
In closing: many RV dealers throughout the United States will offer some kind of Motorhome Driving class. If they do please make it a point to take it, it will teach you all the proper skills to safely maneuver your motorhome on the road. If you are not able to find a class in your community, then take your new motorhome to the nearest mall parking lot after hours and drive around. Even take some cones with you to help assist you in learning to make turns and to practice backing up and parking. One other key thing that I was told once by an instructor and it has stuck with me ever since. If you find yourself blocking traffic because someone won’t allow you the space to turn, just sit there until they move. People may honk there horn at you but always remember you will never see these people again so “Who Cares”.
If you are anything like my wife and I, when we purchased our new Motorhome to travel the US in it became our one and only major investment. This is our home and our lifestyle, so it is important to keep everything running like new so it will last. There are many things that can go wrong with your motorhome but with some standard checks monthly you can minimize them from becoming major repairs.
Sewage System: (Weekly) This includes both the Grey and the Black tanks. The Blank tanks is where your actual sewage from the toilet is held. The grey tank holds the waste from your sinks, shower, Washer and Dryer if you have one. You should always make sure you have water in your grey tank so when you are done dumping your black tank you have something to use to flush out your hose to prevent the sewage from sitting in it and destroying your hose. If you have a newer motorhome like my wife and I then you also will have a Flush system on the black tank that you can run a hoe to after dumping and it will run water through a sprayer that is installed in the black tank to clean it out. You should do this after each flushing if you have one.
Transmission: (Before each travel) You will need to check all your fluid levels. This includes all transmission fluids and oil. Also you should try and have close to a full tank of gas when you are parking your motorhome at a campground to prevent moisture from building in the tank. You also should run your engine for15 to 30 minutes monthly if you have not travels to keep the engine caskets lubricated.
Batteries and Charging System: (Monthly) The first thing you need to do is make sure that the water levels in the batteries are topped off at all times. Only add Distilled water as the irons in normal water can damage the plates in the battery. Also check that the Charger is properly charging the batteries and we actually will run the rig on the batteries for about 30 minutes if we have not done any dry camping during the month. At Camping World you can purchase a battery watering system that will make it much more convenient to check the levels on the batteries and not have to take the covers off of them all the time. Some Motorhomes, the batteries are not that easy to get to all the time and remove the covers to see inside.
Tires: (Before each travel) Always make sure they are properly inflated before you hit the road for any length of trip. Also make sure you load your motorhome equally as to not put too much weight over one tire. When cleaning your tire try and find a tire cleaner that doesn’t include alcohol. This will speed up the process of drying out the tire and weakening them. Also if you are going to be staying at one location for more than a month you should put the tires up on blocks of some kind to prevent them from sitting in water when it rains. Another good thing to do is to cover the tires to prevent the sun from damaging them.
Generator: (Monthly) Like your transmission if during the month you have not used if for any reason you should start it for about 15 minutes. During this time put it on load by allowing it to transfer power to the motor home. This will allow the caskets to stay well lubricated. Also keep the oil changed as the owner manual states and it should last you a long time.
Air Conditioners: (Monthly) These are actually the easiest to keep running like new. All you need to do is keep the filters cleaned and get on your roof and make sure there is no debris that has gotten inside the outside unit. If you have a heat pump and furnace you will want to run them for a few minutes monthly to make sure everything is operating properly during the off season. Run Furnace and Heat pump on both electric and gas to make sure both are operating properly.
Outside and Roof: (Monthly and Quarterly) You should monthly get out and hose you motorhome off. This includes the sides and the roof and make sure no debris is building up. Also clean you front end after each travel to remove any bugs. Quarterly you should completely was your unit to keep the sun damage to a minimum. Also check all your seems for the condition of the Caulking. If any of them seem warn you should remove and replace it. Many parks do not allow you to wash your motorhome anymore due to water conservation so my wife and I will actually go out when it starts raining with a rag and just wipe down the outside with the rain water. The Waxing is one of the most physical parts of owning a motorhome, I find it’s much easier if you get one of your camping neighbors to help you out and then you assist him afterwards doing his. At the campground I spend the winter at in Florida it’s a group thing and we do about 4 or 5 of them in about 2 days with all of us assisting each other.
In closing, by doing some very basic maintenance to your investment, you can have a nice looking and well operating motorhome. With the exception of the waxing, on a quarterly basis the entire maintenance schedule can be accomplished in a couple hours a week by spreading it all out throughout the month. Always check your various owner manuals that came with the appliances to see if there are additional maintenance that is recommended. Always follow the recommended maintenance schedule, as if you don’t, it can and most likely will void your warrantee.